It’s been a while since we talked money. And yes I am still poor, no change there – surprise surprise. Ed McMahon hasn’t show up at my door with a big check telling me I have won Publisher’s Clearinghouse (dating myself here…), and hubby’s disability was denied AGAIN. At the hearing level. What does that mean? It means that we have a pretty low chance of it being approved- ever. He has plan B in the works, but until then we are poor. And I have in some ways gotten use to worrying about money over the years, we’ve been poor for many many years- though admittedly not as poor as we have been the past 5 years. Anyway none of that is the point….
I am so tired of the way people treat you when you are poor. Especially how they treat you when you are getting “help” otherwise known as WELFARE it’s a dirty word. A word people whisper. In fact it’s a word of a gone by era. They call it other things now, food stamps are now supplemental nutrition assistance program, and there is TANF, temporary aid to needy families. The names have changed but the way people look at those in line to spend their food stamps haven’t. They scrutinize what’s in your cart.
People in the community and on television say mean and nasty things about people receiving the help. Calling them lazy, losers, moochers. Drains on society. Assume they all sorts of things about “those people”.
The workers at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). They are anything by human and certainly not HUMANE. In the waiting room is a huge poster with a cartoon spy with a magnifying glass requesting people keep an eye out for people defrauding the system and report them. It’s a very intimidating place. To a young person I can imagine it would be scary. To me, it incenses me. They too scrutinize your every word, they look at you with disgust. I get they are low paid, over worked employees of the state, but kindness is free. And I would be willing to bet the majority of people coming through their doors do not want to be there.
I am tired of being judged because of where my life has taken me. I am tired of people looking down on me and assuming I am a lazy, drain on society. I have mental illness, I have enough to worry about, I don’t need to worry about the fact that my being poor is yet another thing that makes me different from everyone else around me. I already live the fact that it makes my life harder.
So next time you see someone swipe their food stamps card give them a smile not a smirk. If you hear someone lambasting the “welfare rats” remind them most people don’t want to be there. And most importantly remember- kindness is always free.
Until next time.
Is it normal do you think that the best part of my week is the time I spend with my counselor, in my DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy group) and seeing my psychiatric nurse practitioner? They make me laugh. Sometimes they make me cry. They make me feel things, real things. They don’t look at me like I am crazy. They don’t yell at me about all my OCD “rules” and rituals. They don’t treat me like I am “sick” or like I am a specimen to be studied, but like a human, like I am an important human, maybe even a funny and smart human. Someone who is more than just the crazy. Someone who matters beyond what you see, beyond the hand washing, the disinfecting wipes, the checking, the fears, the depression, the anxiety, the hiding.
Do they see me? Is that why it’s the best part of my week? I don’t know, but it is. And part of me is glad. I’m glad I have a best part of my week. But part of me is not glad, part of me thinks it’s sad that the best part of my week is when I go to my mental health providers.
What are you going to do?
What’s your plan after graduation?
And what are you going to do with your degree?
I get asked that question so much. Too much. I want to scream at everyone that I have no clue. I had no clue when I was eighteen years old and in college and I have no idea now…. maybe even less of an idea. I am forty-one years old and I have no idea who I am.
Graduation… ah graduation. 18 days away and I literally feel like no one cares. My inlaws doted on my husband all weekend, acting like he was made of glass because of “all the work” he had been doing for school; My mother in law narrowing her eyes at me asking what I have been doing to be so tired. As if I hadn’t been up until 3am every night for the past 3 months trying to stay on top of a workload I can’t handle. I am so tired I can barely function. I am so overwhelmed I waffle from angry to so sad it’s unbearable. And graduation? Well my husband and “so busy” he can’t make it a priority to schedule 2 hours into his day to watch the children so I can pick up my cap and gown. My mother HAS to go camping – unless there is an issue with her calf that’s to be born that will keep her home that weekend- why even bother. No one cares- Im not even sure if I do. I mean what I care about is the fact that no one seems to care. I know my sister probably won’t make the trip up, she will have just made the trip the weekend before, and I am not reminding my mother in law she just ruins every day she’s around anyway. Maybe I just won’t go. Why would I want to waddle up the stage round faced in front of everyone anyway. Besides I made this really cute countdown, and now, it’s gone. It was on my shelf next to my desk, and it’s disappeared, maybe it’s a sign.
The evil gremlin inside me is trying to convince me to not do anymore work in my classes, to just not finish to get what I get for grades… It sounds so inviting. I just want to go to bed and never get out of it again.
Yup, I am feeling sorry for myself again this is why I hardly write anymore, I feel like no one wants to read about some whiney American forty-something woman who can’t seem to get her life together and stop feeling like shit.
Duh duh duh duh duh duhhhhh….. were you singing it in your head?
I got a letter in the mail today about graduation. I can’t decide what I want to do about graduation. I don’t know if I want to go. On the one hand I want to show it to all the people who thought I couldn’t do it. I want to say “do I shine now?” But they probably won’t even be there so….. At the same time squeezing my fat body into a cap and gown, be in a huge room with thousands of people, hear my name read off, have to walk across a stage, shake hands with multiple people…. I’m starting to panic just thinking about it. I feel the walls closing in.
I feel the walls closing in anyway. I feel like I am drowning. I can’t seem to get my head above water….
I am sick of life. I am sick of being the butt of every joke. I’m sick of all of it.
I’ve made some comments to my children about the fact that they constantly pick on me with “jokes”. Once in a while is funny, multiple times a day is harassment. They take my phobias and terrorize me with them- funny once, not funny after the 4th or 5th time in an hour.
Every appointment Big One has with his counselor is spent bashing me. I keep him on a tight leash. I expect too much of him. I give too much schoolwork. Every.single.time it’s about me.
This past weekend at his youth group retreat he made a very inappropriate joke about something he didn’t even know what it was- he had heard it at school, people laughed so he used it for his comedy. It then commenced a talk from the pastor. This was autism at its finest. We talked and talked about it last night he was so mad. Screaming. Yelling. And yet when he went to the counselor this morning they discussed me- and all the ways I fail.
I’m done. So freaking done.
Sometimes I wish I had written this without anyone in my “real” life being able to read it. I have been very careful not to identify myself for strangers who might know me in person, but I know of a few of my friends and family who read this.
But that makes it hard for me to talk about several topics. I don’t feel like I am able to talk about my frustrations with certain things (and people) in my life.
So on to what I feel like I can say. First of all over the past couple of years I have become an expert in faking it. We just had some people here that coordinate the mental health workers for my kids. They commented on how happy I seemed. Ha! Little to they know how I have been feeling today. Little do they know how with deliberateness (Is that a word) and calmness I self-harmed this morning. I have to reset the “clock” I have – 160 days I made it. But this morning I just needed relief, and it felt good.
I’m at that scary place where it all seems fine on the outside but on the inside I am a bubbling mass of mess.
I guess that’s all….